Pacific Energy Solutions Breaks Ground on Hawaii Solar Project


Pacific Energy Solutions, a provider of renewable energy services is working with the Department of Defense to provide solar power for posts in Hawaii. The 25 year purchase agreement will supply approximately 30,400 MWh of electricity annually to the Navy for use by Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force activities in the State of Hawaii. The effort will lead to the creation of the largest solar power generation facility in Hawaii.

The value of the purchase agreement is approximately $300 million.

In support of its deliveries under this contract, PES will install 68,645 photovoltaic modules at 14 project sites at military installations on the Island of Oahu. Additionally, PES will construct a 2 mile underground transmission system, including a bored crossing, beneath the Pearl Harbor Channel.

These solar installations, once completed, are estimated to offset 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year and eliminate the necessity to burn the equivalent of 54,000 barrels of oil annually. The solar installations will include a utility scale facility on the Waipio Peninsula, which is expected to be, when completed, the largest solar generation facility in the State of Hawaii.

The project is the latest in a series of large solar installations in Hawaii as the state flocks to solutions that allow it to use its sunny climate. Traditional energy imports to Hawaii cost as much as three times more than energy imports elsewhere in the US given its distance from the contiguous united states. Residents and businesses who install solar also get the benefit of several tax credits.

Solar actually reached energy grid parity in 2010 in Hawaii, however the efforts to build out reliable solar have been halted by the local electric utility provider creating a mess for businesses and residents who want to migrate to viable renewable energy. Some relief may be in the offing as Hawaiian Electric recently gained the ability from state officials to fast track projects with six solar energy development companies.